Fonds MSS 271, A.08-11 - Mykola Hnatiw fonds

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Mykola Hnatiw fonds

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CA UMASC MSS 271, A.08-11

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7 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Mykola Hnatiw was born in the village of Vykoty, Sambir Region in what was then, part of eastern Poland (now Ukraine), on September 6, 1912 into a poor peasant family. He completed his schooling in Sambir and later worked in the cooperative movement in the village of Komarno and the town of Sianik. In 1942, he married Iryna Ilnycka. World War II pushed Mykola Hnatiw and his pregnant wife towards the Slovak border. His first daughter, Chrystya, was born in Slovakia. From Slovakia, Mykola headed for the Camps for Displaced Persons in the US Army barracks of Mittenwald, Germany. In Germany, he became involved in the community's political and athletic activities.

In 1949, the family immigrated to Canada, settling in Winnipeg where both he and his wife, like many other immigrants, took menial and physically difficult jobs. Their second daughter, Marta, was born in Canada. Mykola Hnatiw became involved in several political and Ukrainian organizations. Eventually, his passion for literature and journalism led him to work at the Ukrainian Voice newspaper, first as a proof-reader and later as Assistant Editor. He corresponded with many notable emigre community leaders and cultural activists in Ukraine. Mykola Hnatiw passed away on March 22, 1997. He willed his extensive library to his children with a request that a large portion of his books be sent to Sambir. This request was carried out in 2000 by his family and the library is currently in the Boykivs'kyj Museum in Sambir. Mykola Hnatiw lives on in the memories of his children and his extensive family in Canada and Ukraine. In addition to a love of Ukrainian literature, art, and music that he passed on to his children, Mykola Hnatiw's commitment to the community lives on in his children and grandchildren, Andriy and Ihor, the sons of his daughter, Marta, and her husband, Ivan Michalchyshyn.

Custodial history

The fonds was donated to the Archives & Special Collections by the daughters of Mykola Hnatiw namely Chrystia Hnatiw, and Marta Michalychyshyn in 2008.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of numerous correspondence between Mykola Hnatiw and various colleagues, associates and acquaintances, including: renowned sculptor Leo Mol; former Ukrainian dissident Danylo Shumuk; Ukrainian Canadian author and activist John Kolasky (Ivan Koliaska); Anna Kliuchko, the daughter of the revered Ukrainian poet and writer Ivan Franko; Hryhorii Kostiuk, Ukrainian American writer and publicist with the Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences in the U.S.A.; and author and historian Jurij Lawrynenko (New York). Also contained within the collection is some biographical information on Mr. Hnatiw, including certificates and newspaper clippings.

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This collection is arranged into two series:

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English, Ukrainian

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Open to all researchers.

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Open to all researchers.

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Inventory prepared by James Kominowski in 2008;
Finding aid prepared by V. Kvonik in 2008.
quality checked by Mary Grace Golfo-Barcelona on 29 May 2017.

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